End of 2016: Cleaning Out Drafts

It all started with a simple tweet from Lynette Noni, ofAkarnae fame:

Leigh Bardugo(@LBardugo on Twitter) has written some amazing books; I began with The Grisha Trilogy on Scribd: 

Ruin and Rising

Siege and Storm,

and

Shadow and Bone.

These books have Alina Sarkov as the main character in a world that is similar to Russia, but not quite. There are people called, “Grisha”, who have different powers: the Squallers, dressed in blue, who can control the winds; Inferni who can control fire; Heartrenders who can slow and stop your heart; and so on. Alina is an orphan fgom Ravka, which was split in two pieces with The Fold between them. The Fold is a place of pure darkness, but Alina is the first Sun (Light) Summoner in hundreds of years. She goes for training and meets The Darkling who says they were meant to destroy The Fold together. As these are YA (Young Adult) novels, Alina is divided between the boy she grew up with, a tracker named Mal (I feel that I should point out that “mal” means “bad” in most common languages.), or The Darkling.

“The Darkling” by @fictograph on Twitter

After reading The Grisha Trilogy on Scribd, I knew that I had to read The Six of Crows and it’s sequal, Crooked Kingdom. The characters are different, but it takes place after the events of The Grisha Trilogy. While I believe that we should support our fellow writers as much as we can, I am on Disability. My monthly income doesn’t cover rent on a crappy, falling apart, Hellhole, much less transportation (I have go pay for my son on non-school days now), laundry, toilet paper/ paper tosels, electricity (I’d include gas, but cannot affkrd tbe minjmum $20-$30/month), etc. So I found two sites where I could read these books for free:

http://www.bestlib4u.net

http://www.manybooks4u.net

Oh, while we’re on the subject of Free Online sruff:

THE WALKING DEAD:

I was talking to a crush of mine who is into The Walking Dead. My son is scared of zombies (even though, in addition to a Fire Safety Plan we have a Zombie Escape Plan), so I’ve only seen the first couple of seasons. But I’ve read the comic since issue #1. Turns out, I don’t have to wait gor the graphic novel or the Compendium. If you Google, “Walking Dead Comic Free“, you’ll find a site that has them all. Free.I’m now up to #147.

How cool is that?

(and everything I wrote was deleted, so I’ll try to start over a bit…)

And from high school… The 1000 Point Purity Test

Crochet Lovers: Black Cat Slouch Hat – Free Crochet Cat Hat Pattern – Persia Lou

http://persialou.com/2015/11/black-cat-slouch-hat-free-crochet-pattern.html

Apps, Old and New:

*  Creative diary
A very good diary, although there is a $10 yearly fee to access all of the features. I think that it is worth is with or without the yearly fee.

*All Social Media and 1 App:

I love these apps that combine many online accounts into one app. This app combines many social media apps with other online apps. Here are just the Socisl Media apps All Social Media has:

I’m also looking at / trying out 1 App

As you can see, both apps (which take up less than 2mb of space) are awesome. I’m still not sure which I’ll keep and which will go.

* Brain Games
Many games to help keep your brain in shape. My 12 year old don really enjoys them and you czn play them underground (on a train or subway).

*Word Wheel
Too much like my original Word Wheel. Same name, but the only problem with the Original Word Wheel I have is that there are onky 12 levels.

*Headspace – meditation

Reccommended by Gerard Way, former lead singer of My Chemical Romance, I had to try it. It is an excellent app for beginners, although the down side is that it won’t go onto hour SD card.


October 2016: Three weeks ago, I started Monday off with a yearly checkup at my clinic. Despite my seeing my Primary Care Doctor and my Pain Dr the previous week. The yearly checkup includes meeting with the very nice doctor whom, after 4 years, I cannot understand due to his accent and so I wind up getting stuck with way more needles than anyone else because I smile and nod. The TB (Tuberculosis) test goes in the ring of my Sandman Key To Hell tattoo on my forearm because, four years ago, I squealed, “Don’t stick the needle in the tattoo!” and this has apparently become a runnjng joke between us. Then it’s an EKG test and having blood taken.

Sandman Key To Hell

When I first started there, instead of the required monthly meetings with one’s counselor, I chose to go weekly when I found out his speciality was PTSD* (read my previous posts like, “This Is What It’s Like” — which still needs a good ending — and you’ll see why I have PTSD. I see a seperate therapist once a week but I needed it at the time as I was new to the whole “being crippled by your son’s dad in front of your son and the court giving the dad more unsupervised visitation despite video of the incident”.) On the way to my then counselor, I would pass the nurse who took my blood and try to joke around with her. I’ve since found ojt it’s not me, it’s her — even the males say she’s a bitch.

So last Monday I sat in the chair and didn’t try to joke or do more than be polite. She stuck in the needle, took a few vials, removed the needle, and handed me a single gauze to cover the vein. Unfortunately, she had hit a really good spot and the blood bubbled up through the gauze, down my arm in three streams, and onto the arm-rest before she could hand me more gauze and alcohol(!!!) pads. “Ohmig-d, I am. So. Sorry.” I said, pressing extra gauze and ripping open alcohol pads with one hand. I was mortified. And a bit woozy.

She grunted. Literally grunted. Wha???

I wiped the blood off the arm-rest, my arm, kept applying pressure, added fresh gauze, one bandaid, two, the blood would not stop flowing. Finally I left the room with three gauze pads and two bandaids, trying to hold my phone, sweatshirt and bag, all while applying pressure and I still had to get on line to get medicated. And the blood had already soaked through, so I was basically trying to keep the gauze and bandaids in place while returning three bottles and drinking my methadone.

BIKE BRUISE:

I decided to head home. Unfortunately, I missed the 4th Avenue bus stop and figured since I needed a new goodie, I’d get off at 5th Avenue to go to DII (D2, which used to be, “Dee & Dee”). As I walked up the wheelchair ramp, holding onto the railing with my right hand, I suddenly felt like I hadbeen stabbed in the upper right thigh.

The culpret? A bicycle chained to the bars with the handlebar sticking out so that, 3 weeks later, I can still see the outline in the bruise on my upper thigh.

I went home and slept… 

Blessed Be,

I’ve celebrated the Jewish New Year and

The Wiccan/ Pagan New Year,

The Goyem is a bit much.

Happy Holidaze,

Be safe and careful,

D. K. Stevens

Word

Dear WordPress:

I have continually praised you. I have recommended you to friend and  people I do not know. And now, as I look through my entries, I see that you have NOT been posting blogs that I have written. Not just scheduled blogs, but blogs that I’ve written  (like this one), where I post immediately (or think I do and you tell me I have).

You suck, WordPress.

Blessed Be,
D. K. Stevens

First Official Journal Entry: Started Fri 5 Feb, 2016, 10:30a.m.; Finished Mon 8 Feb, 12:15a.m.

image

I’ve decided that in order for me to get the writing done, I will start including Journal Entries into my usual Free Write format. There are quite a few blog posts that I wish to go over, redo, and rewrite, adding details that the Free Write format doesn’t always allow for.
For those unfamiliar with Free Writing, it is an excellent exercise used in writing classes and in ones own. It can help break the dreaded Writer’s Block, as well as get to What I / You Really Want To Write About. I am a huge fan of the Free Write, probably due to the fact that I have put myself in therapy for most if my adult life (insanity runs in my family, as does denial). To do a Free Write, take a piece if paper and pen (or other writing tool) and simply write. You can choose the amount of time — five or ten minutes being the “norm”. Write whatever comes into your head. Do not worry about spelling or grammar. You can write a story, a piem, ideas for future stories, your grocery list, “I can’t think if anything to write” over and over if that us what is in your head. It does not matter as long as you do not stop writing.

Continue reading “First Official Journal Entry: Started Fri 5 Feb, 2016, 10:30a.m.; Finished Mon 8 Feb, 12:15a.m.”

Blurb Reveal For RAELIA

Some of you might remember my review of the first book in this series, Akarnae (https://dkstevens327.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/akarnae-by-lynette-noni-a-review/#more-991). Here is the Blurb Reveal for Lynette Noni’s Raelia. I cannot wait for this book to be published. Although Akarnae is excellent as a stand-alone book, I want more of Alex and Medora. (I’d also love a review copy, but I suppose I’ll have to petition the publisher for that!)

Lynette Noni

I’m delighted to be able to share with you the official blurb for the second book in The Medoran Chronicles: RAELIA.

RAELIA COVER (JPEG)

“Life is full of crossroads, Alex. Full of choices.”

Returning for a second year at Akarnae Academy with her gifted friends, Alexandra Jennings steps back through a doorway into Medora, the fantasy world that is full of impossibilities. 

Despite the magical wonder of Medora, Alex’s life remains threatened by Aven Dalmarta, the banished prince from the Lost City of Meya who is out for her blood. 

To protect the Medorans from Aven’s quest to reclaim his birthright, Alex and her friends seek out the Meyarin city and what remains of its ancient race.

Not sure who—or perhaps what—she is anymore, all Alex knows is that if she fails to keep Aven from reaching Meya, the lives of countless Medorans will be in danger. Can she protect them, or will all…

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Coitus Interruptus: 2013 Best European Fiction

So I found the 2013 Best European Fiction, edited by Aleksandar Hemon (ISBN: 978-1-56478-792-7) at the library. I thought it would be a good read. I planned to start at the beginning, but flipping through the pages, I saw, “Of One Mind”, by Mike McCormack. The mention of a young son is what caught my attention. But then I got to the end. And my first thought was, “Coitus Interruptus”. I searched for possible missing pages, but there were none.
I read on. “Before the Breakup”, from Slovakia, by Balla. About something that appears behind the tv. I think.
“Memory Cultivation Salon”, by Zehra Çirak, translated from the German, written in Turkey. About blowing smaller smoke rings thru a larger one and a woman whose best kiss was (I think) her first.
And so on.
As I read, I became confused. Surly this wasn’t the Best of anything, much less European Fiction. There are millions and millions of writers in Europe! Search some blogs and I’m sure one can find a much better sampling.
I was reminded of those embarrassing Americans who feel that if they simply scream English at a non-English speaker, the person will nod in understanding, “Ah, da, sí, yes, I did not understand the English when you were speaking like a normal, sane human. But now that you are screaming in my face, well, maybe it’s the droplets of your spittle dripping down my cheek, but I understand you completely!”
So maybe these stories were good, even great, in their native language. Maybe the publisher accidentally left off the endings. Having translated some of my poetry from English to Spanish, I know how hard it can be: you can’t translate literally for poetry (or fiction, I guess); using idiomatic phrases can change not just the meaning, but the overall feeling of the piece. What is a translator to do?
First of all, start with a good piece of writing. A great one, even, since it will lose something in the translation.
Next, find someone who is truly bilingual (or multilingual): someone who can read, write, speak, and think in both languages with equal ease. Out of your group of bilinguals (or multilinguals), choose the most creative — the writers. (I am in no way saying that writing is the most creative of the arts. But if one is looking for a translator for writing…)
Next, have the translator meet with the writer to discuss the piece to be translated. The translator will get a feeling for what the writer was going for. And, finally, have the translator discuss the translation with the writer.
I realize that with certain writers — Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin — one simply needs to translate and publish. But with “The Best European Fiction “, I think the writers can spare a few hours to make sure the translation is done well.
Unfortunately, that was not the case with this collection.
Skim it. Or skip it.

Blessed Be,
D.K. Stevens